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Previous Reflections in Lenten Series

Ash Wednesday:  Come Back to Me
Joel 2:12-13

First Sunday of Lent :  Lead Us Not Into Temptation
Luke 4: 1-13

From Ashes to the Oil of Gladness
– A Lenten Journeys Series

trans·fig·u·ra·tion
A reflection for the Second Sunday in Lent

Each time we disclose a truth about ourselves, we part a veil. By doing so, we invite others to come into our lives and make contact with us. Parting any veil forces a degree of vulnerability and demands unimaginable trust and faith.

By inviting Peter, John, and James up to the mountain, Jesus extends to them the unexpected privilege to see himself transfigured in all his glorious splendor. So dazzling was this visual feast that Peter’s desire to build three tents – one each for Jesus, Moses, and Elijah, suggests nothing but a longing for God’s revelation to linger and stay.

In the LGBTQ community, “coming-out,” self-revelation or “transfiguration” are part of a lifelong journey of understanding, acknowledging and sharing one’s gender identity and/or sexual orientation. It may be easy for some, or longer and more difficult for others. While many are eternally grateful for the amount of support and empathy they receive from friends and family, some share “coming-out” stories that are heartbreaking and heavy to hear.

By reflecting on the Gospel text of Jesus’ transfiguration allow yourself the time to revisit your own “coming-out” journey, whether as an LGBTQ person or an ally. Revisit the times that others have come out to you.  Chances are you may discover God’s hidden graces, blessings and learnings that perhaps eluded you before.

Open Reflection

J O U R N E Y S

“I tell you now that I will lead you out of your oppression… to a land flowing with milk and honey” (Exodus 3:17)

A Scripture Reflection Series for LGBT People and Allies

JOURNEYS is an invitation to walk with our ancestors, discover the great source of love, and celebrate our identities as children of God and LGBT persons and allies of faith. Each item below contains a section of Scripture, followed by questions for reflection. These questions can be used for personal meditation, journaling, or group conversations.

With these scripture passages, you can travel through the sands of the Bible and find your place in the Divine Story. Whether you are fleeing from “hardened” Pharaohs (Exodus 14:8), feel the urge to dance with abandon (2 Samuel 6) or pray with a heavy heart (Luke 22:41) these passages encourage you to wrestle with God and “not let go until you feel the divine blessing” (Genesis 32: 22-32).

Scripture Passages

1. Genesis: Being Created – Genesis 1:26-31; Genesis 2:8, 15, 18-25
2. Exodus: Of Pride and Marches – Exodus 3: 1-12
3. Psalm 27
4. The Blind Beggar – Mark 10:46-52
5. The Woman at the Well – John 4:5-30
6. The Woman Caught in Adultery – John 8:2-11
7. Lazarus: The Man Jesus Loved – John 11:17-44
8. The Body (Of Christ) – Romans 12
9. 1 Corinthians 13: What is this thing called LOVE
10. The Season of Advent – Year C, 2018
Week 1 – Luke 21:25-28, 34-36
Week 2 – Luke 3:1-6
Week 3 – Zephaniah 5:1-4a; Luke 3:10-18
Week 4 – Luke 1:39-45

Feel free to download these scripture passages and reflection questions for personal use. If used communally, we would appreciate the following acknowledgment – “This material was prepared by New Ways Ministry, an affirming ministry of advocacy and justice for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) Catholics, and reconciliation within the larger Catholic and civil communities.”

New Ways Ministry
4012 29th Street                                               T: 301-277-5674
Mount Rainier, MD 20712                                www.newwaysministry.org

You can download an individual reflection by opening the reflection and then clicking the download button for it

GENESIS: Being Created

That every single person has inherent value is the doctrine expressed at the very beginning of the book of Genesis. Being created in the image of God also includes the capacity for relationships (with God and others) and most importantly, that the one who is created is the visible representation of an invisible God.

Open Reflection

EXODUS: Of Pride and Marches

The book of Exodus is a journey from slavery to freedom. Enslaved by the Pharaoh of Egypt, the Israelites suffer heavy burdens until the prophet Moses, chosen by God, commands the Pharaoh – “Let my people go!” What follows, is a journey out of Egypt and into the wilderness for 40 years. Rather than being a nation lost in the desert though, the book of Exodus evolves into entering a covenant with God, being formed as God’s people and discovering who they truly are as God’s pride.

Open Reflection

PSALM 27

This psalm is a song of confidence and triumph. Yet, each verse also prompts new reflections about who God is and where God might be discerned.

While the psalmist professes unyielding trust in God, the psalm is also delicately personal and paints God as approachable, caring, and radiant with beauty.

Open Reflection

The Blind Beggar

“Bartimaeus is blind and has no one to listen to him. Jesus hears his plea. When he goes to him, he lets him speak. It was not hard to guess what Bartimaeus wanted –  clearly, a blind person wants to see or regain his sight. But Jesus takes his time; he takes time to listen. This is the first step in helping the journey of faith: listening. It is the apostolate of the ear: listening before speaking.” –  Pope Francis, October 28, 2018

LGBT persons and allies want to be listened to by others in our church. Can the story of The Blind Beggar, challenge LGBT persons and allies to develop the apostolate of the ear so that we can listen to others, too?

Open Reflection

The Woman at the Well

“She is of mature age, and has had a not altogether reputable past. She is frivolous, ready to talk with strangers, with a tongue quick to turn grave things into jests; and yet she possesses, hidden beneath masses of unclean vanities, a conscience and a yearning for something better than she has, which Christ’s words awoke and which were finally so enkindled as to make her fit to receive the full declaration of His Messiahship, with which Pharisees and priests could not be trusted.”

Open Reflection

The Woman Caught in Adultery

Caught in the act of adultery, dragged naked by force into a public gathering place, humiliated by her sin, separated from anyone to protect her, judged and sentenced to death without trial by self-righteous leaders, and then placed before Jesus hoping to discredit him, is how the apostle John describes the opening scene of The Woman Caught in Adultery.

But then something unexpected happens.

Open Reflection

LAZARUS: The Man Jesus Loved

In the raising of Lazarus, the Gospel of John exemplifies the decisive power of Jesus over humanity’s last and most dictating enemy – death.

For the LGBTQ community, this resurrection story may well come to symbolize God’s promise of life to those excluded, marginalized or emotionally imprisoned. “Lazarus, come out!” commands Jesus in a loud voice, and to the people around, Jesus further directs, “Unbind him, and let him go!” 

Open Reflection

The Body (of Christ)

She is the body of Christ on earth – born amidst tribulation, under jealous skies. Cradled in her innocence and guarded for Christ’s purpose. She grows in wisdom and stature with victory on her lips and freedom in her hands. Hers is an unstoppable cause. She embraces the world with dignity, honor and compassion; gives vision to the sightless and life to the dying. 

Open Reflection

1 Corinthians 13: What is this thing called LOVE?

While Cole Porter may be best known for witty lyrics as frothy as champagne, in his most thoughtful songs he seems to stand in awe, both confounded and captivated, by an emotion that defies understanding:

What is this thing called love
This funny thing called love
Just who can solve its mystery
Why should it make a fool of me?

1 Corinthians 13 takes on the question – “What is Love?” – and the apostle Paul goes on to paint a beautiful picture of the love he desires in us all.

Open Reflection

The Season of Advent

Year C, 2018

The liturgical seasons of Advent, Christmas, and Epiphany are rich occasions to reconnect with scripture and renew faith in the Risen Christ.

From the Incarnation to the Second Coming of Jesus, and all the prophecy and history in-between, lies a grand story filled with lush symbols that reinforce God’s unwavering promises of hope, peace, joy and love.

Open Reflections